Why Srisailam: Srisailam is located of the top of Nallamala hills. A trip through the beautiful Nallamala forests and magnificent hills is in itself a reason to visit this place. Besides, this place has in own importance as it has played a significant role in religious and cultural history for over 1900 years. The history of Srisailam begins with the Sathvahnas who were the first empire builders in South India.
Things to Do: Inspite of its historical and religious significance, this place has many other things to do.
- The town (as well as the mandal) of Srisailam is reputed for the shrine of Lord Mallikarjuna on the flat top of Nallamala Hills. The temple complex, whose existing buildings date from the 2nd century AD, is the Bhramaramba Mallikarjunaswamy Temple. It is one of the 12 ‘Jyotirlingas’ in India as well as one of the eighteen most sacred goddess shrines, or Shakti Pithas. The temple is the site of Mahakali. It is believed, the Vrishabha, the sacred bull of Lord Shiva performed penance here. Lord Shiva appeared before him, with his consort Parvati in the forms of Mallikarjuna and Bharamaramba. The view inside the temple is fascinating. Photography inside the temple is strictly prohibited.
- Aerial rope way: This is a small and fun ride which takes you down to the banks of river Krishna (for boating and holy bath) and later takes you back up to the top of the hill.
- Boating: Two kinds of rides are available here. One takes you on a 15-20 min ride near the Srisailam dam and the other takes you to Akkamahadevi caves. The trip to the caves takes about an hour. Its better to leave in the morning as the whole thing takes over 4 hours.
- The Srisailam Dam: The hills provide a splendid view of the dam. There are a lot of small stalls where you can stop to snack and drink all while you enjoy the magnificent view.
- The Tiger reserve: The Nallamala forests provide home to the Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger reserve which is the largest in the country (by area). It is home to about 65-72 tigers (as per the 2014 census). A wild life safari is occasionally arranged for tourists depending on the demand and the extremists activity in the forests. The main mammals in the reserve are: Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, sloth Bear, dhol, Indian Pangolin, chital, sambar deer, Chevrotain,blackbuck, chinkara and chowsingha. There are also mugger crocodile, Indian python, king cobra and Indian peafowl.
Note: It is better to travel during monsoons to enjoy the lush green forests and to avoid the heat. Also, there is only one boat ride to Akkamahadevi caves per day and it requires at least 18 members to register for the trip. However, you can arrange a private boat too but it costs much more. Adventure junkies should be wary of the extremists threat in the forests and avoid passing through the forests at night.